The HSE-gateway


Chemicals must be stored according to their properties and reactivity.

As few chemicals as possible should be stored in the workplace. Chemicals that are in regular use must be stored in approved chemical cupboards in the laboratory. Chemicals that are not in daily use must be kept in storage rooms designed for the type of chemical in question. Chemicals must always be stored in suitable chemical packaging – ideally, the original packaging – and must be clearly marked in accordance with the labelling regulations.

Rooms in which chemicals are stored must always be kept locked and clearly marked to show the risks associated with the room. It should be noted that some chemicals cannot be stored together. Some chemicals can start chemical reactions with or without influence from their surroundings, for example by forming explosive peroxides. See peroxide-forming chemicals. The units must always have an overview of which chemicals are stored where, and in what quantities. Such reports can be obtained from the Chemical Inventory.

Information about the storage of chemicals is available in the Safety Data Sheet in section 7.


Chemical groups


Inorganic and organic
chemicals (see incompatible chemicals)

Inorganic and organic chemicals must not be stored together. They may perhaps be in the same room, but must be physically separated – for example, by each being placed on its own side of the room.

Acids and bases (see incompatible chemicals)


Acids and bases must be stored separately and not with other chemical compounds. The ventilation system (both the ducts and fans) from a cupboard or room in which acids are stored must be resistant to corrosion. The type of acid vapour produced must be checked (in terms of whether it is lighter or heavier than air).

Toxic chemicals.

Stored in locked cupboards to which ventilation is connected as required.



Flammable chemicals must be stored in approved fire cupboards to which ventilation is connected. They must not be stored together with other chemicals. Large volumes of flammable chemicals should be stored in separate rooms that have been designed such that fires and explosions cannot occur. This includes, among other things, a requirement that fittings, sockets, etc., must be EX-approved. The same applies to the requirements for the ventilation system (ducts and fans) from a cupboard or room in which flammable chemicals are stored. A further requirement is that the ventilation must provide sufficient venting, that the room has a satisfactory pressure release surface located so that it does not pose a danger to the surroundings, and that the room is fire-resistant (shelves, cupboards, walls, ceiling and floor). There must be an extractor at both floor and ceiling level. Transfusion and other activities are not permitted in rooms in which flammable chemicals are stored.